What Fresh Hell Is This?

December 17, 2007

The P-G Weighs In On Torture


Historians will look back on the Bush years as either the beginning of America's Dark Ages or its end.

In conducting the war on terror, the administration of President Bush has not called upon "the better angels" of America's nature, to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln. If anything, the nation has been encouraged to set aside previous moral convictions. Mr. Bush believes it makes more sense to mirror the ruthlessness of America's enemies than to honor the values that make us distinct from them.

According to this moral logic, a tough enemy requires the use of even tougher interrogation techniques. As long as al-Qaida remains in the shadows, qualms are a luxury Americans can't afford, according to Mr. Bush. This is the kind of reasoning that has led to outrages against human dignity throughout history.

We've also seen here (in the comments of various postings) the rather useless argument that goes something like:
Well, since we haven't been attacked since 9/11 it follows that the President HAS protected us. And if that protection includes any "enhanced techniques" necessary to protect American lives, I say go for it! Let's Roll! Bring it on!
First off, that argument assumes that there HAVE been attacks since 9/11 and that those attacks were in fact thwarted by this administration. Given the vast array of lies and deceptions spewed out by this administration since 9/11, how can we be sure that anything it says is correct?

Wasn't this an al-Qaeda cell?

The Associated Press is reporting that a federal jury in Miami has acquitted one defendant of charges of plotting to link up with al-Qaeda to blow up Chicago's Sears Tower.

The jury, however, could not reach agreement on the other six defendants, and a mistrial was declared.

Summed up:
The AP says Bush administration had seized on the case to illustrate the dangers of homegrown terrorism and underscore the government’s post-Sept. 11 success in infiltrating and smashing terrorism plots in their earliest stages.
Back to the P-G:

Last week, the House of Representatives voted 222-199 to outlaw waterboarding by the CIA. The legislation rejects waterboarding as an interrogation tool. The majority of Democrats who voted for the ban are trying to impose the same rules on U.S. intelligence that govern the conduct of the Army.

The bill also bans "techniques" that employ mock executions, attack dogs, sexual humiliation, starvation and the withholding of medical care. As if to remind everyone of his medieval bona fides, Mr. Bush has promised to veto the bill if it wins Senate approval.

Recently, though Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) put a hold on the legislation. His reason?
I think quite frankly applying the Army field manual to the CIA would be ill-advised and would destroy a program that I think is lawful and helps the country.
If it helps the country, then why not let the Army do it? Or as Spencer Ackerman put it in that same article:
So torture is counterproductive for the military but valuable for the CIA?

The P-G ends with a rhetorical question:
We need a leader who will chart a new path. Can the United States reclaim its place as a beacon of moral behavior, or will it follow Mr. Bush into the Dark Ages?
Only time will tell.

Happy Monday.


Anonymous said...

John K. says: Test! If the position of the left is that our limited use of torture, ie waterboarding, (which ain't even close) makes our enemies more likely to torture our troops and that it causes us to be 'hated' than answer this. Which enemy have we faced since 1776 that has not used torture on our troops? Which nation state or radical group has used torture on our citizens only because we did it to them first? And futhermore, why didn't our enemies like when we refrained from torture use? Hmmmmmm ?

Schmuck Shitrock said...

John K, if you admire our enemies so much, why don't you join them? And why do you hate America so much? And why are you so angry all of a sudden? Where are the LOLs and the LMAOs? We miss the silly clown. Please bring him back!

BTW, are you aware of what George Washington't policy about torture was? Do you hate George Washington, too?

Ol' Froth said...

Fact is, there HAVE been terrorist attacks on US soil since 9/11.

Anthrax, anyone?

Anonymous said...

John K. says: Yes I am aware of Washington's policy. Are you aware you just proved my point? 25% of Continential Troops captured by the British died in captivity. (Re: Almost a Miracle) They were held in horrendous old troops ships in NY Bay. So regardless of what Washington did, it did not deter the British from torturing our troops. Bannister Tarelton come to mind, King's Mountain? Now are you also aware that Washington hung Major Andre without a trial? Do you even know who Major Andre is? Shitrock you proved your ignorance. Back to History class with the likes of you. This time instead of bad mouthing the US pay attention. Anyone name that country yet?

Anonymous said...

JK -

Your query is specious. Whether or not another nation has used torture on our troops is entirely beside the point. I know some use it as a "reason" not to torture, but I don't need it.

Isn't it you right wing fundies who are constantly berating the "left" for its supposed "moral relativism?" Well if so, then count our distaste for torture as counter-proof to that argument; as we simply and completely reject torture as wrong. Always. In any situation.

Call me crazy, but yes, I would rather than some people die that we let ourselves be dragged into the muck of torture and perversion. The line must be drawn somewhere. And I draw it here.

Waterboarding, under which CIA operatives have said the "latest 10-12 seconds" passes the test with me. For these were people who KNEW they weren't going to die and KNEW the procedure was only a "test."

Piltdown Man

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Really, John, the Laughing Chickenhawk thing was kind of good, but you are just plain lousy when you try to do it with regular lies, evasions, and insults. Read your own post: Disjointed, illogical, rude.

I don't think even a crazed Wingnut like you really wants to turn America into Saddam's Iraq, do you?

I ask again: Please bring back the clown act. It was far more fun.

Oh, and we're all very disappointed to hear that you hate George Washington.

Anonymous said...

John K. says: Essentially I proved two points here. Liberals spent history class either passed out on drugs or bad mouthing the US. They obviously have no idea of the frame of reference I am using. And two, not one liberal could name a country that did not torture our troops. Regardless of our policy of benelevance towards EPWs, other countries practiced none. Shitrock you clearly live up to your name. Major Andre anyone?

Anonymous said...

John K. also says: The antrax attack? Has yet to be proved who launched those attacks. Hence cannot be labelled foreign terrorism. Some left wing loon could have launched those attacks. And if they did, you lefties would call it free speech. I win again!

Schmuck Shitrock said...

Well, at least you're back to the Mohammad Ali, "I am the greatest!" thing, John. It's not nearly as good as you used to be, but it's a bit of an improvement over your recent "rage" paradigm.

Unfortunately, the remainder of your arguments remain as illogical as ever.